Thursday, 12 October 2006

Hoffman Guts British Libel Laws

by Charles Pooter

No, not our own Ted Hoffman, but Lord Hoffman, along with the other Law Lords, has ushered in a new era of free speech. Ruling against a dodgy Arab who was trying to bankrupt a newspaper for daring to tell everyone he was dodgy, Hoffman has created a new public interest defence. The article in question may not have been 100% true, but that does not matter, because in Hoffman's words "[it] was a serious contribution in measured tone to a subject of very considerable importance."

This is great news. The libel laws in the UK have always been overly-draconian and are routinely used by the rich and powerful to crush those who reveal their dealings. I'm greatly looking forward to seeing what revelations will emerge when US-style lax libel laws are combined with British investigative journalism.

2 comments:

Edwin Hesselthwite said...

Tom Cruise says: "I'll sue you in England!"

Or to put it another way! Woohoo! So Jeffrey and Neil, never be getting away with THAT trick again, will you?

Charles Pooter said...

Well they didn't really get away with it in the long run, but others have.